This section provides advice about what help you may be able to get with paying your Rent and Council Tax.
Housing Benefit – help with your rent
Housing benefit is for people on a low income to help meet the cost of rent. Housing Benefit is administered by Forest of Dean District Council on behalf of the Government.
It is means tested, so the money you earn along with any benefits you get, and the money you have saved, together with your household circumstances, will affect the amount of help you may be entitled to. Unfortunately, we are unable to help people with over £16,000 in savings, unless they are currently getting Guaranteed Pension Credits (PCGC).
If you have a liability to pay rent, then we may be able to help you. When we say liability, you must have a proper tenancy arrangement with your landlord. Housing Benefit cannot be paid to people who live with, and pay rent to, a close relative or in law.
If you rented your home from a private landlord after April 2008 your Housing Benefit will be calculated using Local Housing Allowance rates. This means that we may not allow all of your rent when calculating your Housing Benefit.
If you rent your home from a social landlord, such as a housing association, you may get less benefit if your home is under occupied.
If you are on a low income and need help with your rent please see How to Apply
Council Tax Reduction – help with your council tax
From 1 April 2013 the Government local authorities have the freedom to design and set in place their own local Council Tax Reduction schemes.
Although local authorities have been given freedom to design their own local Council Tax Reduction scheme the Government has set out some rules that have to be included to make sure that claimants of state pension credit age do not lose out. The rules are set out in the Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Prescribed Requirements) (England) Regulations 2012.
Claimants of state pension credit age will get Council Tax Reduction at a similar level to what they would have got under the Council Tax Benefit scheme.
It is for Local authorities to decide what rules apply to people of working age claiming Council Tax Reduction.
Forest of Dean District Council scheme
The Council’s scheme provides local people, whether they are of pension age or working age, with broadly the same level of help they would have received under the Council Tax Benefit scheme.
Our scheme is modelled on The Council Tax Reduction (Default Scheme) (England) Regulations 2012 with some additions, for example, we ignore war pension income.
You may be able to get help through Council Tax Reduction or Second Adult Reduction.
We have kept the rules for Council Tax Reduction or Second Adult Reduction much the same as they were under Council Tax Benefit. However, the rules for appealing a decision are different.
Council Tax Reduction
Our Council Tax Reduction scheme is means tested, so the money you earn and the money you have saved, together with your household circumstances, will affect the amount of help you may be entitled to. Unfortunately, we are unable to help people with over £16,000 in savings, unless they are currently getting Guaranteed Pension Credits (PCGC).
Second Adult Reduction
Second Adult Reduction is usually for single householders who share their home with one or more adults, who are not their partner. They could be their grown up son, daughter, relative or friend. If the person/people living with you is:
- not your partner or civil partner
- aged 18 or over
- not paying you rent
- not paying Council Tax themselves
- on a low income
Sometimes we can help you even if you are not a single householder, but only in certain circumstances. Usually, this is if your partner is:
- A Youth Training Scheme trainee
- Permanently in hospital
- Severely mentally impaired
- An apprentice
- A full time student
- A student nurse
- A prisoner
Second Adult Reduction looks at the income of the second adult. We will need to know a few details about you, because you are the one liable for the bill, but this will only be your name, National Insurance Number and Date of Birth. We do not need to know about your income.
If you are liable to pay council tax you may be able to get help though Council Tax Reduction or Second Adult Reduction. See How to Apply for more details.